12 California Inns with Extraordinary Gardens

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SACRAMENTO, CA [May 15, 2019]—In addition to their well-appointed rooms, delightful breakfasts, and uncompromising hospitality, bed and breakfast inns are just as often known for their vibrant gardens. The California Association of Boutique & Breakfast Inns (CABBI) has compiled a list of inns around the Golden State with a profusion of unique blooms and welcoming, intimate spaces.

Known for drama, exuberance, and year-round color, the gardens at Half Moon Bay’s Mill Rose Inn have been described as “extravagant” by the San Francisco Chronicle and as “Paradise in a garden” by Country Inns Magazine. Set on almost an acre, the gardens feature hundreds of fragrant perennials, ever-changing annuals, and more than 200 rose bushes. While the English country garden setting is perfect for an elegant wedding by the sea, an intimate outdoor Jacuzzi sheltered by a tropical, flower-filled gazebo also makes for the perfect romantic rendezvous. Inside the inn, luxuriance turns to luxury, with opulent décor, period furnishings, and watercolor paintings that echo the garden’s rich color palette.

In Encinitas, the newly-renovated Inn at Moonlight Beach blends elements of feng shui and modern minimalism to create a tranquil retreat in harmony with nature.  Upon arrival at the inn, the gardens initiate their calming influence. Japanese boxwood, lavender, rosemary, and bamboo greet guests from the formal entry garden.  A quiet corner with succulents and a trickling fountain invites meditation.  In the ceremonial hallway, flickering lanterns cast a soft glow on the white stucco and vertical wood-slat walls. At the far end, a large circular opening representing the moon overlooks a private garden with a fragrant cascade of jasmine. Terraced biodynamic gardens behind the inn provide organic fruits, herbs, tea leaves, and vegetables for its guests.

Eden Vale Inn is a verdant sanctuary nestled in the straw-colored hills of California’s Gold Country. The inn’s main house was a formerly an old, abandoned barn converted into a luxurious inn with outdoor soaking tubs and gas fireplaces. Similarly, the acres of land surrounding the barn have been transformed into a lush paradise.  Over the years, a wide array of trees, shrubs, vines, and grasses have grown into a beautiful three-dimensional tapestry of color and texture. The gardens attract over 50 different types of birds, whose chirps blend harmoniously with the bubbling fountains and tinkling wind chimes. Wandering the footpaths, guests will find endless curiosities, including a collection of antique bird cages and bowling balls perched atop wooden posts.

The gardens are bursting with color at Ojai’s Lavender Inn. As one might expect, colorful flowers beds throughout the inn’s gardens feature a variety of lavenders, but guests will also find majestic 200-year-old oaks, garden art, a tempting hammock, nine fountains, and a small waterfall that spills into a small pond that hosts a nightly symphony of frogs. Nooks and crannies throughout the garden offer privacy, and a look up reveals views of the nearby mountains. There’s an herb garden off the kitchen, convenient for embellishing the breakfasts and evening wine and cheese offerings that guests enjoy from the veranda overlooking the gardens.

Wandering the grounds at the historic Inn at Locke House near Lodi, guests may recognize plants from their grandparents' garden. The original garden was planted by the Gold Rush-era Locke family; renewal and expansion of the gardens began in the 1960s. Papery white Matilija poppies, delicate pink ancient peonies, rose campion, English daisies, iris and roses of all hues are only a few of the floral treasures that blossom during year. An assortment of evergreens, native and ornamental trees including Canary Island pine, blue and valley oaks provide shady spots to sit and view the changing landscape. The 22-room brick farmhouse features airy rooms with lovely garden views.

Discover old-world hospitality and secluded gardens at the Wine Valley Inn and Cottages in Solvang.  Under the shade of stately willow and oak trees, guests can meander along the garden paths and footbridges to watch fish swim in the koi ponds and find inspiration in the cascades of greenery and blooms. The wheelchair accessible garden also features an outdoor fireplace for gathering around on cooler days and evenings. Storybook cottages inspired by C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia are tucked among gardens, each featuring exposed posts and beams, vaulted ceilings, French doors that open to private patios with hot tubs, and whimsical touches.

At Napa’s Beazley House Bed and Breakfast, secluded English-style gardens provide a peaceful backdrop for a leisurely stroll, an intimate conversation, or the exchange of vows. Replete with bright flowers, trickling fountains, lush lawns, and a century-old oak tree, the expertly manicured half-acre of gardens is nestled between the inn’s Mansion and Carriage House. For guests who want to experience the lush gardens throughout their stay, five of the rooms in the Carriage House feature views of trees and flowers from every window. The inn’s certified Master Gardner assures a beautiful and ever-changing landscape.

Tradewinds Carmel is inspired, both inside and out, by the principles of feng shui and a desire to stimulate the senses. The inn incorporates Japanese, Balinese, and Chinese elements, including a Zen meditation garden with towering temple bamboo, ferns, giant birds of paradise, flowering ginger, and other lush tropical plants. In the evening, guests can enjoy a relaxing fire pit while listening to the soothing sounds of bubbling fountains and a nearby stream. As relaxed as it is refined, Tradewinds inspires a sense of harmony and overall wellness, allowing guests to simply unwind and take in their natural surroundings in peace.

Stay at the Simpson House Inn and wake up to fresh morning air scented with Chinese jasmine, wisteria, and French lavender. Such is the magic of the inn, which offers privacy and tranquility just steps from downtown Santa Barbara. This elegantly restored 1874 landmark Victorian estate is secluded on an acre of beautifully manicured English gardens with expansive lawns, mature trees, sitting areas and relaxing water features. Enjoy an evening Mediterranean hors d’oeuvres buffet and local wine tasting overlooking the gardens as well as a chef-prepared gourmet breakfast each morning.

The gardens of Old Monterey Inn’s elegant estate transport guests to another time and place. Walking under the old oak trees, guests will find a profusion of flowers in a whimsical cottage garden that looks as though it was drawn from the pages of a fairytale. Choose a different path and discover the elegant English garden complete with rose trees, fragrant lavender and hummingbirds. Secluded sitting areas are perfect for enjoying a glass of wine or a good book while listening to soothing fountains. The 1929 Tudor mansion inn offers an exclusive retreat hidden among the trees in the heart of Monterey. 

Ferndale’s Gingerbread Mansion Inn features a lush, perfectly-manicured English garden with topiary-style shrubs, story-tall camellias, brick paths, old-world statues, and a stately fountain. Sitting areas flank the fountain, for the perfect spot for cuddling with a sweetheart or a book. A favorite spot for intimate weddings and engagement parties, the garden offers decks and sitting areas where guests might enjoy their complimentary wine or tea overlooking the verdant garden. Constructed in 1895, the mansion combines Second Empire with Queen Anne and Eastlake styles, and is one of the most photographed bed and breakfasts in California.

Boxwood, azaleas, roses, a verdant lawn and ocean views await guests at Mendocino’s Headlands Inn. The inn’s meticulously maintained English gardens feature inviting hidden seating areas and metal wind sculptures that animate the landscape.  Lavender, delphinium, scallions, mint, orchids, rosemary, and borage flowers are among the plants guests might spot as they wander through the garden or discover as garnishes on the morning’s breakfast plates. The inn’s soft featherbeds provide the perfect landing spot for drifting off each night, lulled by a crackling fire and the rhythm of the ocean.

For more information on these and other California inns, visit www.cabbi.com.


Media Contact: Ranee Ruble, ranee@papermooncreative.net or 503-788-3938

California Association of Boutique & Breakfast Inns414 29th StreetSacramento, CA 95816-3211916-554-2673